Business Columns & Blogs

Secure your identity at BBB’s free shredding and electronic recycling day

Emily Valla
Emily Valla

Each week of October, we are looking at ways to secure your identity during National Cybersecurity Month. Thieves would love to take hold of anything containing your name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number, Social Security number, etc. And next Saturday, Oct. 15, Better Business Bureaus nationwide want to help you destroy some of the documents that may have that information.

It’s time for free shredding day. BBB is teaming up with Shred It, Western Records and Computers for Kids to offer free document shredding and electronic recycling. We’re also excited to have the help of Nampa police volunteers, who will run traffic control.

If you aren’t sure about taking the time out of your Saturday, consider the time it takes to recover from identity theft. It can take several weeks, even months, to get your identity out of the bad guys’ hands. So, toss up to three bags or boxes of paper into the car and take a big step toward protecting your and your family’s identities.

Maybe you do most of your sensitive transactions online and don’t have much to shred. Have you considered what you’re doing with old electronics? The cellphone that’s junk drawer memorabilia or the computer that’s collecting dust in the closet? Those devices can have your sensitive information stored.

Computers for Kids and Secure Data Sanitization are ready to securely recycle those electronics. They’ll wipe them clean, and if the device is usable, it’ll be repurposed and given to children in need in our area. If not, the device will be safely destroyed. Phones, computers, hard drives, printers and more are all warmly welcomed, but we are unable to accept televisions.

As you pack up for Saturday, remember there are a few documents to hang on to. Here’s a quick rundown of what needs to stay and what needs to go:

▪  Keep for three years: bank statements, expired insurance policies and employment applications.

▪  Keep for seven years: invoices, canceled stock certificates, payroll records and withholding statements.

▪  Keep permanently: deeds, mortgages, tax returns, audit reports, insurance records, legal correspondence and property records.

Don’t worry — save your hands and leave the staples in, even a few paper clips won’t hurt. Bring up to three boxes or bags.

For secure data destruction year-round, consider getting a personal shredder. Before then, let us catch you up or get you started shredding from 10 a.m. to noon next Saturday at CWI’s Micron Center.

Emily Valla, emily.valla@thebbb.org, is the Idaho marketplace director for the Better Business Bureau Northwest. To check a business or report a scam, go to www.bbb.org or call (208) 342-4649.

When and where

Saturday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m. to noon, College of Western Idaho Micron Building, 5725 E Franklin Road, just off the Garrity exit.

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